Destination Whangaroa and Cavalli Islands
21 May 2016
As locations to weather a storm go, nowhere in this country can rival Whangaroa Harbour. With Stephenson Island, the Cavalli group and some of the best marlin grounds on the coast so close to its entrance it’s surprising this destination doesn’t get more press. Hopefully we are about to change all that.
See bottom of page for map points 7-13
1.The bait hole – Jack mackeral
Super consistent spot to load up the live-well before any expedition out of the harbour.
2. Kingfish Lodge – hospitality
Legendary watering hole for visiting anglers. Plenty of history, good food and cold beer.
3. Snapper foul, Whangaroa Bay – snapper
Plenty of low rubble to scan for snapper marks. Usually fishes best on the drift. Try bait if softplastics and lures are not working.
4. Snapper foul , Taupo Bay side – snapper
Work this 30m contour line in a search for fish. Drift fishing is usually the best method in the right conditions.
5. Western end of Stephenson Island – snapper, kingfish
A popular ground that warrants time with a livebait. Generally, not as productive as the Cavalli Islands.
6. 200m line behind Stephenson Island – marlin, hapuka, terakihi
The most productive area of this contour line can be found by working back and forth keeping Stephenson Island over the entrance of Whangaroa harbour. Savvy sounder operators will spot bottom fish in spots along here too.
7. Western end of the Cavalli Islands – kingfish, snapper
At times a very productive kingfish fishery when targeted with livebait. The presence of birds will give away the fish. Blue koheru can be caught here. Fish out deeper for snapper.
8. The Rainbow Warrior – scenic diving only
This famous wreck is marked by large mooring buoys. Respect the charter boats and the integrity and mana of the wreck.
9. Ocean side of outer islands – snapper, crayfish
Plenty of good fishing to find by those who can read a sounder – 20 to 30m line is best. Good diving country closer to the islands.
10. Taheke Reef – kingfish, snapper, occasional pelagics
This famous reef still has good days. Jig and lure enthusiasts are likely to get the best of it. Fishing either side of the slack tide is the most productive.
11. The Teapot – kingfish, snapper
Very similar to number seven. Again, the presence of birds is the clue to look for.
12. Cavalli Passage – scallops
Good scallop grounds of the island side of this passage. Respect the locals and the regulations.
13. Un-named snapper ground – snapper
25 to 30m seems to be the golden line. Fishes best when straylining with the current.